It was a night of celebratory dinners in and around Paris Monday, as Valentino and Oscar de la Renta each enjoyed a party in his honor. Valentino’s bash was at his chateau in Wideville, outside of Paris, where Francois and Betty Catroux, Julio and Beatrice Santo Domingo, Susan Gutfreund, Daphne Niarchos and Elle MacPherson were among the glittering crowd to toast the Roman couturier on the latest collection of his 40-year career.
Meanwhile, right off the Champs Élysees, Georgina Brandolini invited nearly 200 guests to the landmark bistro Fouquet’s to celebrate de la Renta’s birthday.
Before cutting his cake, de la Renta got up to say a few words of thanks to his guests. He surprised more than one when he admitted, “Today is not my birthday.
“But I heard Valentino is having a party tonight,” he continued, “and I thought this would be the best way to keep people from going.” The crowd — after a startled beat — burst out in laughter.
“I also hoped it would rain,” added the birthday boy. “It didn’t. “
Amidst the applause, man-about-town Gianpiero Dotti already seemed to be plotting to whom he would repeat the story first.
“You’ll have to run into the street tonight to tell that one, Gianpiero,” said one of his dinner companions, noting the glint in his eye. “The story will make it around Paris even faster than you do.”
After dinner, a few guests — no doubt wearied from a day of shows and fittings — excused themselves at the stroke of eleven. But many took to the dance floor alongside Firyal of Jordan, Marianne Pompidou, Danielle Steel, George Hamilton — still tan as ever — and Nada Kirdar.
Oscar led the way, smoothly twirling the couture-clad ladies, as if he were a taller Fred Astaire — at least until jet-set bandleader Samy Goz pushed a microphone into his hand for a duet. Then things took a turn for the sweatier when Oscar tore into a Latin song-and-dance fest that could have taught Ricky Martin a thing or two and climaxed with a wild group sing-along to — naturally — “I Will Survive.”